Getting married is an exciting time in the life of every couple. With marriage comes the responsibility of joining two separate lives into one. However, with divorce rates steadily increasing, couples believe it is important to protect their assets. In order to accomplish this, many choose to sign a prenuptial agreement.
In family law matters, as relationships collapse, this office all too frequently finds itself undoing damage done by litigants who inadvertently make bad decisions in how they communicate at each step of the process. These decisions tend to be born in a cauldron of vindictiveness, pride or stubbornness, and always lead to negative results. Under Kentucky law, it is very difficult to obtain a mulligan (or "redo", for all non-golfers), so it is very important to attempt good decisionmaking and effective communications from the start.
Whenever family law disputes are occurring (be they divorce, custody or some post-decree modification), there is significant stress that impacts all facets of a litigant's life with relation to job performance, debt, money management, routine household tasks and productivity. With employment, statistical studies of large-scale employers usually reflect 50-75% drops in productivity by the worker in such an action, as well as a "ripple effect" among the co-workers and line managers who struggle to adjust and cover for the productivity loss.
On family law child support issues, Louisville judges were always pretty predictable. Nowadays, we've seen a new weapon added to the arsenal, a public shaming broadcast complete with nasty commentary. Called "Deadbeat" this daily program on family law is designed to titillate, and cannot be avoided by court participants - all of the circumstances are put up for public display.
All through 2012, I warned people who are in a family law dispute about being cautious about the information shared over social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, and implored restraint on the texts they exchange. Sadly, folks are still saying cathartic things in the heat of the moment, and I wind up either using them against a litigant or defending against their use against my clients. What they never seem to realize that judges in Louisville are more than willing to base portions of their rulings on statements made over media designed to broadcast to the public.
Grandparent visitation rights have long been given a special preference in Kentucky family law. Frequently, most often for very good reason, parents will deny grandparents access to grandchildren for lengthy periods, sometimes for years. When this occurs, emotional trauma obviously occurs in all of the affected households; it is typically a decision that parents do not undertake lightly.
OK, so life didn't work out as planned, you're getting a divorce (or if unmarried, you are splitting up a household), and you are feeling enthusiasm over the fact that you are no longer going to have to live with your significant other as a lover.
I've spoken on the conjoined topics of shared parenting and child custody in Kentucky in the past, but as this is a frequently misunderstood matter, it is important to revisit the issues from time to time. By statute, rule and case law, the minimum allocation of shared parenting time in a child custody case is very narrowly defined. Under our Family Court Rules of Practice and Procedure, the minimum is every other weekend, with an overnight to occur midweek. In the Louisville area, we often find an increasing willingness on the part of family court judges to allocate time on a far more equal basis (provided that there is a suitable home environment in each). Further, due to the circumstances of modern life, courts are often willing to make allowances due to the unusual work schedule needs of emergency service personnel, people working in health care and those who find themselves traveling as a requirement of employment.
I recently came across an article about an older couple that remarried nearly fifty years after getting a divorce. While heartwarming to the point of nearly being maudlin, the story brought to mind the occasions that I've had to work with couples who were breaking up after a second attempt with each other (some having experienced intervening marriages to a third party). Having worked in this area of the law for a number of years, I've noticed a definite pattern to these relationships; this pattern is marked by some legal realities that some parties find difficult to accept at first glance, and which serioulsy impact the eventual resolution of the case.